Message from McMillan

Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan wrote “Voter Interest at an all-time high” for the ALGOP:

We live in extraordinary times when government is running on empty, both in terms of revenue and ideas. No longer are people content to let the Washington crowd raise taxes and grow government.

As this summer’s drama at the White House plays out, people are watching every move to make sure that the big government crowd doesn’t prevail. It’s two against one in this fight, with President Obama and the Senate Democrats versus the Republicans in the House.

People realize as never before that bigger government means fewer jobs for American families. To those of us elected to serve, our responsibility is to keep government small and off the backs of those who create the jobs.

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John McMillan is one of my favorite politicians.  I still enjoy hearing about his family taking a milk cow to the beach with them way back when.  Fun fact:

Bottle Creek, the largest Mississippian site (AD 1200 to 1450) on the north-central Gulf coast, has eighteen earthen mounds that served as platforms for houses and temples.

…Bottle Creek is one of the few major Mississippian sites not yet developed for tourism. The heavily forested site, in the midst of the Mobile-Tensaw delta, gives visitors a sense of the rich natural environment that supported Native American societies for thousands of years…

The McMillan family protected the Bottle Creek site for most of this century. In the early 1990s the land was purchased by Scott Paper Company, which in turn donated the site to the State of Alabama.

I’m sure this fellow and his kin help scare away most tourists (the photo is from the excellent mobilepaddler blog).

 

Madison County GOP Breakfast – 1/16/2010

Congressman Parker Griffith (R) attended the Madison County Republican breakfast this morning, creating quite a buzz.  Griffith’s welcome ranged from warm hugs and handshakes to curiosity to silent disapproval.  The leadership didn’t exactly embrace Griffith – they didn’t seat him at the head table as might be expected for a sitting Congressman of your party.

I introduced myself to Griffith, telling him that I wasn’t sure if he’d show up to one of our meetings and that I respected him for attending.  Griffith said that he’d heard of Flashpoint (unsurprising since we covered the Huntsville Hospital documents pretty extensively during the last campaign).  I made Griffith the same offer that I made to the Artur Davis (D) campaign; we’ll post event notifications or issue papers sent to us from his campaign.  I hope Griffith takes us up on the offer.

The GOP breakfast was packed with more than 300 people.  You can really tell that the campaign season has started - lots of officials and candidates. In addition to Griffith, AL05 Congressional candidates Mo Brooks and Les Phillip attended (Les is probably so looking forward to reading “The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire” – he and I – and Mo – share a love of history).  Attendees included: State Representatives Phil Williams (6), Mike Ball (10) and Howard Sanderford (20); House 20 candidate David Pinkleton; Senate 9 candidates Tony Cochran, Clay Scofield, Don Spurlin, and John Wilson; State Board of Education candidate Mary Scott Hunter; Sheriff Blake Dorning; Judges Dick Richardson and Dennis O’Dell; DA Rob Broussard; Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong; HSV Councilman Mark Russell; HSV Board of Education member Jennie Robinson; Madison Councilman Tim Cowles; and Madison County Board of Education candidate David Vess.  Forgive me if I left anyone off the list.

Talk radio superstar Dale Jackson of WVNN attended the breakfast. 

John McMillan, candidate for Agriculture and Industries Commissioner, deserves a special mention.  McMillan was endorsed by 26 Republican legislators – which is unusual for a primary and speaks to the respect McMillan has gained through years of public service.

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The meeting featured speeches by the candidates for State Senate 9 (South Huntsville, Marshall County, and part of Blount County).  We are blessed to have such fine people running to replace incumbent Senator Hinton Mitchem (D).  Here are excerpts from their speeches (keep in mind it’s tough for me to eat and write at the same time):

Tony Cochran – if elected, he will be the only CPA in the legislature, which he says will benefit the budget process. “Democrats are bankrupting the State of Alabama”.  Supports Charter Schools.  Prevent AEA executives from participating in State retirement plan.  Rolling reserve budget system (Canfield).  Pro-life.  Pro-gun.  Illegal immigration – TN trains 10% of its troopers to be ICE officers.

Clay Scofield – this is “the year of the conservative”.  Pro-life. Pro-Second Amendment. Ethics – “we have to create an environment where being a legislator is unprofitable”. Tell Hubbard NO; “40% of the eductaion budget is spent in the boardroon and not in the classroom”. “Take care of home-grown businesses”.  Note that Clay is a young man, someone at my table who didn’t know him said he was “pretty impressive”.

Don Spurlin – “Small Government, low taxes, Constitution, pro-family, pro-life”.  Education – “focus on the classroon”, math and reading initiative.  “I believe in the ABC’s, not the AEA’s”.  Economy – “Provide what employer’s need: trained workforce, industry-ready worksites, infrastructure”.  Marshall County is impacted more by illegal immigration than any other County in the State.  Don noted that Governor Riley praised the Alabama DHR for a record number of adoptions in the State of the State address. Spurlin praised the Marshall County DHR who also had a record number of adoptions.

John Wilson – “Lifelong conservative Republican”. Wilson noted that Sen. Hinton Mitchem was a “no-show” at the Madison County Legislative Delegation’s forum.  PACT – the State has a “moral obligation to honor the contract”.  Support gas tax pledge. Illegal immigration – supports E-Verify and suspending business licenses of employers who don’t make a good faith effort to comply.  “John Wilson reporting for duty”.

MCGOP Breakfast – Tim James

Tim James, GOP candidate for Governor of Alabama, spoke at the Madison County Republican Men’s Club breakfast Saturday morning.  I had never seen him, met him, or heard him speak before, so I was looking forward to hearing from him.

James is a good public speaker – well-organized with a great voice.  He touched on national issues, then state issues, then his campaign – all throughout repeating his theme of “common sense solutions”.

National – companies that are “too big to fail should be allowed to go bankrupt” (to loud applause) and “Wall Street is willing to sell the country down the river”.  He praised Senator Sessions, Senator Shelby, and Congressman Aderholt for opposing the bailouts.

State – Education - ”The foundation is the ball game” - reading programs must be improved to create an educated workforce.  Put strong Principals in weak schools.  Economic Development – 74% of Alabama’s jobs are in existing small businesses, implement programs to provide same economic development benefits to expanding local businesses that we do for companies such as Thyssen Kruppe.  “Make Alabama business-friendly”.

James closed by saying “America is under assault … from Washington.  The economic foundation of America will collapse if we continue to print money”.  He said “It is time for all leaders at all levels to speak clearly – inspiring our countrymen to an economic and moral great awakening”.

He made a good first impression on me.

There was more excitement at the meeting: Rob Broussard attended – he is likely to be appointed as the next Madison County District Attorney to replace the retiring DA Tim Morgan.  Rob and I have some mutual friends, but the first time I saw him (long time ago) he was the prosecutor on a case where I was on the jury – he did a great job on that case – conviction.  If you know Broussard, contact Governor Riley and let him know that Rob would make a fine DA:

Phone:  (334) 242-7100
Email Governor Riley

I also got to meet John McMillan, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner.  I enjoyed talking with him -  he used to be a Baldwin County Commissioner and I almost think of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as home.  I’d like to live there but then I couldn’t stop to get Chilton County peaches on the way.  Here’s last years Beach Monitoring and Poo post about water quality in Baldwin County.